Filled with fascinating stories and unexpected twists and turns, this latest in The Seth Concert Series is certainly the most surprising show to date.
While looking at Wayne Brady’s extensive credits it would be easy to assume that perhaps he is more of a television personality than a theatre performer, but as this concert proved his love of musical theatre certainly runs deep.
Having begun with a smooth but suitably perky rendition of ‘On Broadway’, this fascinating concert is certainly filled with surprises that make it really distinctive – particularly with regards to the numerous twists and turns that his career has taken.
Best known for being a regular performer on Whose Line is it Anyway?, Brady’s love of musical theatre began at a young age, having grown up watching episodes of Great Performances – a PBS programme devoted to the performing arts. Throughout his recounting of the early days of his career which started out in television to help to pay the bills, he is frank and honest about the difficult decisions that he has had to make. This honesty and variety of stories he has to tell – including how he won The Masked Singer and his terror over the Fox lawyers – is refreshing and compelling to listen to.
While much of the show is filled with stories (and he certainly has plenty to share), there are also some really lovely musical numbers along the way. Between him and Seth Rudetsky really selected high quality songs that showcase Brady’s vocals well – including a really rich and playful rendition of ‘All I Care About’ from the musical Chicago in which Brady made his Broadway debut.
Elsewhere, a particularly poignant version of ‘Not my Father’s Son’ from Kinky Boots really hit the heart – particularly given the fact that Brady’s own father never got to see him performing on stage. But I was particularly impressed with the improvised song that he and Rudetsky put together – using suggestions from the at home audience, it was a 1980’s power ballad themed number about the year 2020 that they ended up titling ‘Lean into the Suck’. It was funny, smart and highlighted a whole different element of Brady’s performance skills.
It was an engaging and fascinating show that was put together – let’s hope that the pair get together and perform another concert together as it feels there is still much to be said and performed.
By Emma Clarendon
The Seth Concert Series takes place on a weekly basis. Find out more here.